Catherine Odell’s childhood spanned the globe, and helped her to develop an appreciation for all the different lives a person can live. She was a keen observer and people watcher from the beginning, learning to read gestures and emotions without always understanding the language.
She earned a Bachelor of Industrial Design at Syracuse University, and continued to develop her observational skills while working as a product designer at Ziba Design, seeking to understand the lifestyles, habits, decision making, and the physical and emotional experiences of people and the everyday objects they encounter.
She took a slight detour from the design world, to travel and experience life on the road as a cellist in a touring band, before returning to her first love, drawing. While working to develop her personal style as an illustrator, she began selling her art at local street fairs and now spends her weekends at the Portland Saturday Market.
Catherine now approaches her art as a means to tell stories and connect with others, illustrating her own interpretations of small everyday moments as well as the more imaginative and slightly ridiculous. She values humor as well as the quiet and melancholy.
Her first illustrated book, I’M DONE written by Gretchen McClellan, comes out this fall from Holiday House, and her first written and illustrated book, PEPPER AND FRANNIE will be released on March 23, 2019 by Page Street Kids.
She has illustrated for both public presentation and internal concept storyboarding, counting Pampers, Thomas & Friends, Intel, Starbucks, John Prine, Comet Skateboards, OHSU Children’s Hospital and The New York Times among her list of past clients.